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The ore bodies will be accessed by 2m x 2m drives and cross-cuts into stopes that are mined by traditional overhand shrinkage stoping mining methods, with the ore being drawn from access points and transported on underground locos and tipped into bins on an ore pass system.
The feasibility study proposes shrinkage stoping for mining the West Reef.
Preliminary efforts to use longhole retreat mining instead of the previous method of shrinkage stoping have increased production rate by 40 per cent, providing additional hope that costs can be further reduced.
During drawing of ore, hang-up and dilution may occur as experienced in Vertical Crater Retreat stoping or shrinkage stoping.
The thicker, richer gold intercepts in the flattened zone may be amenable to lower cost, modern mechanized mining methods as compared to the shrinkage stoping carried out historically in the steeper portions of the veins.
The PEA replaces a June 2013 feasibility study and adopts a nonmechanized shrinkage stoping mining method in place of the feasibility study's mechanized cut and fill.
Effectively a combination of long hole open stoping and shrinkage stoping, the so-called creeping cone method controls ore dilution where weak hanging wall and footwall conditions prevail.
Preliminary rock mechanics evaluation by Rock Engineering International (REI) and Call & Nicholas, Tucson AZ, (supported by laboratory testing at the University of Arizona) has confirmed to The Winters Company (TWC), Tucson AZ, the suitability of Mechanized Shrinkage Stoping as a primary underground mining method and TWC is proceeding with detailed underground mine design and production scheduling.
Our flag-ship property is Roy Lloyd [and] is targeted with 100 mt/d to 150 mt/d through the mining methods of long holing and shrinkage stoping, producing up to 15 g/mt material over the next two to three years.
Production in the CLZ is undertaken using overhand shrinkage stoping with ore drawn from the stopes using box-holes.
Efficient longhole stoping will be utilized to extract 75 per cent of the ore with mining widths up to 30 meters, while shrinkage stoping will be applied for the 25 per cent of reserves contained in narrower zones.
Preferred mining methods suggested in the feasibility are long-hole stoping, supplemented by shrinkage stoping in the narrower parts of the deposit.